In the warmer months, if Cajundome’s Pam DeVille isn’t working she’s out fishing. Her favorite thing to do on the weekends is take her boat out on the water and reel in the catch of the day.
“I work so that I can afford to go fishing,” DeVille jokes. “I started fishing when I was a little kid. Once our children grew up and moved out of the house, my husband and I decided it was time to invest in a boat so that we could go fishing in the Gulf.”
DeVille and her husband are in the process of making their favorite pastime a family endeavor.
“We are grooming our granddaughter who will turn two in December. We’re very anxious to have a regular partner in crime,” DeVille tells Amplify. “She and her mother love to boat ride. When we stop to fish, she is amazed at what is going on around her.”
As much as DeVille adores her time off on the water, she also loves working at the Cajundome in Lafayette, Louisiana where she has been for over 30 years. DeVille joined the Cajundome team shortly after the venue opened as assistant marketing director.
Within two years, DeVille was promoted to marketing director and has worked her way up to assistant director. Starting Nov. 1, the 30-year veteran of the building will take over as director. After 25 years as the director of the Cajundome, Greg Davis announced his retirement in July of 2018.
“When Greg said he was retiring, he asked me if I was ready to walk out the door with him,” DeVille says. “I spent six months trying to talk him out of it.”
At Davis’s recommendation, the Cajundome Commission named DeVille the next director.
“Once Greg convinced me there was no talking him out of it, I said ‘I’m not ready to go.’ I love this building. I love what we do. There’s a lot of stuff I want to finish before I walk out that door,” DeVille explains.
Amplify caught up with the Louisiana native to learn more about the five most influential shows she’s attended.
The Associations at Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette
Between 1969 – 71
It was my first concert with my high school boyfriend. My curfew was 10pm and, of course, the concert ended at midnight. I was grounded for a month. It was worth it.
Chicago at Pete Maravich Center on Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge
I was so excited that my boyfriend got us tickets for the show. We were on the TOP ROW almost behind stage and it was very loud. I loved every minute. About half way through the show I looked over at my date and he was sound asleep. I just kept on dancing and singing. This time I did not get grounded.
Eagles at Cajundome in Lafayette
May 12, 1995
First of all, we were the smallest venue and last venue on that leg of the U.S. tour. It took two days to sell out. I had promised the local promoters it would take hours, so you can imagine how nervous I was. It was the first show in our venue where every ticket was sold at $75. The night of the show my boss told me to take Irving Azoff to the executive suite and make sure he was comfortable. I sat on one end of the suite and he sat on the opposite end. I was so mesmerized by the show that I could not tell you when he left, but I stayed to the very end. It was by far the BEST show ever. The next night the entire band was on The Late Show with David Letterman, and when asked about his favorite part of the tour, Don Henley said it was the Cajun food at the Cajundome the night before. No, I did not DVR it, and when the local CBS affiliate called the next morning and showed me the clip, I promised anything I owned to get a copy. It never happened!
Garth Brooks Mini Residency at Cajundome in Lafayette
My husband, son-in-law and daughter attended the first Saturday show, while I attended all five performances. I was working of course, but I was on the floor for every song and every special moment. One of the nights during the first weekend I was standing midway on the floor of the stage right section with my boss and a couple of ladies from our Marketing Department. An elderly woman with her granddaughter held up a sign that read, “My last concert was Elvis Presley and tonight is my birthday!” She was in the front row of the middle side section, about 15 feet from where we were standing. About half way through the show, Garth acknowledged the sign and the woman and asked her what her favorite Elvis song was. Of course no one could hear her response. Well, the next thing we see, Garth jumps off the stage and precedes to walk through the arena to her section. No one on our staff, including security, had any idea he would do such a thing and when I say jump, I mean he jumped off the stage. He then serenaded her with her favorite Elvis song and when he was finished he took off his guitar and gave it to her. There was not a dry eye in the house. Before continuing his set back on stage, he invited her and her family to come back stage after the show to pick up the guitar case.
Unknown Hip-Hop Artist at Cajundome in Lafayette
I would call this my most memorable moment of the concert business. My boss Greg Davis was about to settle with the promoter and asked me to join them in his office. My job was to answer any marketing or advertising questions. The promoter opened his brief case and pulled a .357 Magnum pistol and placed it on Greg’s desk with the barrel pointed at Greg. The promoter said, “Now we can begin.” At that moment I rolled out the door and grabbed a radio. My next move set the tone for the rest of the meeting and I honestly do not know where the inspiration came from, but it worked. I called our lead security officer who was a city police captain over the radio and asked him to join us in Greg’s office to protect the promoter of the show. Obviously, the officer did not come in hot and would view the promoter as the person needing assistance.
When the officer turned the corner for Greg’s office, Greg stood up and said, “Ralph, thanks for coming, our promoter will need a police escort to the back of the building when we are finished. He will be carrying a lot of cash.” Ralph told the promoter there was no need to have the gun on the desk and told him he would be safe. Ralph did not leave the promoters side until he left the building and no one left Greg’s side until the promoter was out of his office. When it was over we all looked at each other and took deep breaths. This has never happen since, but it was a very valuable lesson. Never settle in an office with only one entrance/exit and always have an officer nearby if the news is bad.